Why airsoft guns?

by B.B. Pelletier

This report was prompted by reader Rikib, who asked the following:

“If you find the time could you provide info about AirSoft guns, their purposes, uses, ranges of fps. Why would I want one if I have a pellet gun? Just wondering what an AirSoft gun is useful for I guess, other than training children to shoot safely. Do I have a use for one, they are relatively inexpensive.”

Well, I guess it’s time to go through the origins of airsoft again. I’ve done this before, but it’s been so many years and I don’t even remember where it is anymore, so this is a good opportunity to bring us up to date.

Rikib — You think airsoft guns are inexpensive? Well, the few you have seen may be, but how would you feel about paying $3,000 for an airsoft copy of the BAR? Because they do exist. How about $1,000 for an airsoft M60 machine gun (a crew-served weapon on a bipod) and another thousand for the accessories? A good friend of mine owns one, and guys who spend tens of thousands on full-auto crew-served weapons flock to his side when he gets it out at a shoot. Airsoft guns can be very expensive, as well as the guns you see here at Pyramyd Air. Perhaps, if you know the history of airsoft, you’ll understand what the guns are and why they exist.

A little history
Airsoft guns came into being in the Orient, where firearm and even pellet gun ownership is severely restricted. In fact, in several countries, a private individual cannot own a firearm of any kind. That doesn’t change the fact that a Japanese man can be just as attracted to firearms as an American, a Brit or a German. So, there’s always been a demand for firearms even though the possibilities of owning them in some countries are insurmountable.

Enter the airsoft gun. Back in the late 1970s, companies in the Orient started bringing several non-weapons to market to satisfy the itch many people have to hold and fondle firearms. So that these replica guns would do something, they were made to shoot 6mm balls at velocities low enough to be relatively safe. Hence, the term airsoft. In the beginning, it was copies of military ordnance, like that BAR and M60 I mentioned. As time passed, they began to develop other lower-cost models of civilian guns that would have a wider appeal.

As the 1980s dawned, the American company, Daisy, began importing several inexpensive models of airsoft guns into this country to sell to their customers. They changed the name to soft air, a misnomer that Crosman also copied when they entered the airsoft market. The realistic-looking guns frightened U.S. lawmakers. The best airsoft guns were nothing but genuine firearms whose internal mechanisms had been adapted to shoot 6mm round balls the Asians called BBs. They also called them bullets, and they often called them BB bullets.

The U.S. government was about to ban the importation and sale of airsoft guns for the U.S. when a California lawyer came up with a way of marking the guns to make them distinguishable from firearms. Their muzzles would either be colored a specific shade of blaze orange, or they would have transparent bodies that showed the internal parts. After several years of discussion, laws were framed and airsoft sales continued in the United States in the early 1990s by the thinnest of margins.

Back in the late 1970s, companies in the Orient started bringing several non-weapons to market to satisfy the itch many people have to hold and fondle firearms.

But it’s in Asia where the real innovation on the guns continued and flourished. The guns they built originally to satisfy gun collectors and enthusiasts were now being used in mock battles. Because the guns are much less powerful than even paintball markers, they gained popularity rapidly. They don’t hurt as much when they hit, and less protective gear can be worn.

The directions of airsoft
However, it’s at this point where the world of airsoft splits cleanly once more. Part of it remains with the collecting side, while the other part, the far larger part, goes toward gaming or mock battles. It’s the gamer or skirmisher who has driven the accuracy and shootability of the guns to where it is today. And, even that push has undergone another split in recent years, with skirmishers going in one direction, which is by far the largest group, and a very small and select group heading in the practical pistol shooting direction. The latter are the guys who pursue the sport of IPSC — with timers, timed silhouette targets and courses of fire that resemble the ones that the firearms crowd engage. While this is a very small group, they spend more money per capita on their guns than any other group of airsoft enthusiasts, other than collectors. It’s not unusual for these shooters to purchase a gun for $200 and spend another $1,000 on it to get it into full race-gun trim. Their guns can shoot groups well under one inch at 30 feet and are completely semiautomatic and entirely reliable.

They’re fun to watch, as they do everything a firearm IPSC competitor does except endure the noise and recoil of the gun. Their guns are lightning-fast, super-slick and always on the money when they’re adjusted properly.

Gaming
Without a doubt, for the past 10 years, it’s been the gaming end of airsoft that’s grown and thrived the most. And, it’s this aspect that the casual public is most aware of. Using the same “Capture the Flag” scenario that paintball has embraced, teams of skirmishers armed with airsoft guns are maneuvering around on simulated battlefields trying to out-maneuver each other and accomplish their military goals. The guns they use are becoming increasingly more capable of supporting such operations. For example, a sniper “rifle” of today can be adjusted to land most of its shots inside a 12-inch circle at 50 yards, making it feasible to actually perform valid sniping roles on the battlefield.

Battle rifles, which are often based on the U.S. M16 and M4 variants, can be modified with steel gearboxes and other special performance parts to enable them to sustain operations under very realistic conditions for a long time. These guns are almost at the point where they can take the same rugged field conditions as genuine firearms. Indeed, there are a few select airsoft guns that are sold only to the military and are every bit as rugged and reliable as the firearms they copy. The larger commercial world of airsoft is rapidly approaching the same level of reliability and ruggedness.

At the high end of the gaming group, there are trademarked training simulations that travel all over the world and charge hundreds of dollars for the chance to be led and trained by battle-tested veterans with impressive military credentials. Airsoft teams are buying radios for their helmets, so their squads can have operational nets in the field, and even genuine military vehicles like 2.5-ton trucks to transport the squads to the training area. An individual might have to spend several thousand dollars to outfit himself for this kind of activity.

Law enforcement
Police departments are even using airsoft to replace Simunitions as a means of saving vast amounts of training funds, as well as reducing damage and injury in training by an order of magnitude. And, this interest is only in its infancy. As the equipment becomes more robust, the move to use it will increase because of the enormous savings it presents.

Without a doubt, for the past 10 years, it’s been the gaming end of airsoft that’s grown and thrived the most.

But what about the regular folks?
So that, Rikib, is a thumbnail overview of airsoft and where it is today. Now, to answer your specific question about how you can use it, I’m going to assume that you do not contemplate spending several thousand dollars on guns and equipment, nor are you looking to own a hard-to-acquire gun like a BAR, which would cost $30,000 as a firearm but only one-tenth that much as an airsoft replica gun.

Like most of our readers, you want to know if there’s something that is both cheap and fun to use. The answer is yes. For less than $25, you can buy a 1911A1 pistol that’s a repeater and has enough accuracy to hit a motel soap bar every time at 30 feet. If you can live with that level of enjoyment, then, yes, airsoft is for you. That kind of gun is the very cheapest reliable gun on the market. Look at the Tanfoglio Witness as one such gun.

The first thing you’ll notice when you fire this pistol is how far the airsoft BB flies without appearing to drop. As you shoot the gun, the ability to see the BB in flight helps you make sight corrections until you cannot miss any reasonable target within range. This type of gun uses the lightest airsoft BBs, weighing just 0.12 grams. They travel under 300 f.p.s. and are the best way to get to know airsoft, in my opinion.

The next step up would be a gun powered by gas. Green gas is the easiest to use, and will give you true semiautomatic operation as well as stunning accuracy. For about $90, look at the TSD M190 pistol, which is a Beretta 92FS. I’ve owned and used one for the past 5 years and it’s still running fine. Accuracy with 0.20-gram BBs is on the order of 1.5 inches at 30 feet, with a velocity of 330 f.p.s. on green gas. And, this gun has full blowback and a single-action trigger!

If long guns are your style, consider one of the very affordable sniper “rifles” (all airsoft guns are smoothbores), like the UTG Master Sniper that I tested for Shotgun News. I was able to keep over 90 percent of my shots on a silhouette target at 50 yards using 0.24-gram BBs with this authentic weapon. This gun comes out of the box shooting 460 f.p.s.; and, with a few aftermarket tweaks, it can easily top 500! That’s a lot of performance for only $105.

I’ve purposely avoided talking about the higher-priced guns, because I don’t think they’re the right place to enter the world of airsoft. You now understand that Pyramyd Air is selling the low- to mid-range airsoft guns. They do not stock the high-end or ultra-collectible guns because the market for them is too small and unpredictable. To get your feet wet, there isn’t a better place to begin than here. I would start with one of the lowest-priced pistols and advance only when I found the sport too compelling to ignore.

I used to write a lot more about airsoft. But, because Pyramyd Air has the No. 1 rated airsoft blog, I no longer have to. So, my advice — if you’re interested in pursing this further — is to check out the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog.

147 Responses to “Why airsoft guns?”

  • derrick Says:

    Brian in Idaho,
    Thanks for the update. Glad to hear you found the problem.

    RoninUT,
    There might be a horizontal milling attachment for your lathe. It’s a useful thing to have. You’re also not limited to making only cylindrical items on the lathe. You can turn a cylinder into a square or a rectangle, but you probably knew that already.

  • pete zimmerman Says:

    I posted this very late last night, and of course it sunk like a trace. I’ll put it up again—– Maybe Matt61 and BG_Farmer will see it and comment on it.

    –pz

    ——————————–

    Matt61, BG_Farmer,

    Matt wrote: ****, the “nature of things” is indeed a misleading term. The sense of it is the essence of something philosophy qua philosophy. It is like a question I asked a physics professor when I was studying relativity. I asked what was light that it could have such strange properties like having an absolute speed limit that apparently forced space to contract and expand as one moved through it at different speeds. The professor just smiled and said, “We physicists don’t indulge questions like that.” Another way to make the distinction is between experiment and untestable speculation although that division is not absolute and is currently being tested by the latest physics.****

    and BGF wrote: ****The “history of science” tends to attract either second-rate historians and classicists or second rate physicists and mathematicians, so I take anything from such a source with a grain of salt . Just my opinion, but I’ve know specimens of each type.

    I hope PeteZ sees your professor’s statement and gives his opinion on it– I’m having a hard time taking it at face value. The nature of light seems very much a viable topic, with the current duality (wave and particle) for example, being accepted only as a workaround of sorts.****

    So here’s an answer. I’m a little handicapped by not having underline or bold or something, but I’ll do my best. Physicists fall into 2 schools, the positivists who say “all I know is what my instruments tell me”, and “all I want to be able to do is predict the outcomes of experiments. Then there are more realists or descriptivists who want to _explain_ nature. Usually those folks try to do it in terms of little models, tinkertoy type, of “mechanical” devices. A fundamental problem is that no physicist can tell you what something as basic as electricity _is_.

    OK, we’ve all done lots of experiments with electricity from shuffling feet on the floor and getting a spark, to wiring up equipment, picking things up with a magnet, turning on a light, etc. And a man named Coulomb experimenting with putting charges on spheres and seeing how strongly the conducting spheres attracted each other as a function of separation distance. *Every single electrical experiment* done before roughly 1880 or 1890 and the results of which have stood the test of time can be correctly predicted by a set of four beautiful equations, Maxwell’s Equations. Maxwell’s equations tell you that time varying electric fields and currents must, absolutely must, send out electromagnetic waves (light in other words). Those same equations contain 2 physically measurable (and by 1890 measured) quantities called mu_zero and epsilon_zero. The speed of these electromagnetic waves *must* be exactly the square root of (1/(mu_zero*epsilon_zero) ).

    Lo and behold, that number is up to teensy experimental errors exactly the measured speed of light.

    Heinrich Hertz did experiments to propagate Maxwellian waves, and found they did exist, and thereby almost invented radio.

    Einstein started his career as a boy by wondering what he would “see” if he could ride on top of a wave of light going through the universe. And in 1905 in his special theory of relativity he told the world. The speed of light is constant as seen in all unaccelerated reference frames, because the structure of Maxwell’s Equations yields a mu and epsilon in all of those frames which multiply out to the same number, 299792458 m/s, no matter what frame you measure in. It isn’t that physicists don’t trouble themselves about the why of the properties of light! It’s that our tools reach a point where we can describe and predict, but not give you a deeper explanation. I can tell you exactly how electric charges and currents behave, but I cannot say what electric charge “is” without going circular and saying that well, charge is what behaves according to Maxwell’s Equations.

    Philosophy of physics is advanced very often by the greatest physicists of all. Einstein, Bohr, Paul Dirac, Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman were among the best physicists of the last century, and among those most deeply concerned with with questions of philosophy. It’s too soon to talk about the best physicists of this century. It’s certainly true that history of physics is written by “second rate physicists.” But that’s “second rate” as opposed to, say, “third rate” or “sixth rate.” Clearly a young hotshot physicist doin’ the Lord’s work of pushing back the frontiers of knowledge isn’t going to take time out to write about how his predecessors paved the path for him! But with age comes a certain loss of creativity which means that the new kids take over the frontier bashing and the older scientists do ask how physics (or other science) got where it is. One of the best histories in biology is James Watkins’ book “The Double Helix.” He didn’t write it while he was at the peak of his form as a biochemist!

    The wave/particle duality is no longer of much interest. We needed to think in that kind of tinkertoy or Meccano Set terms as we were developing modern quantum physics. By around 1950 Dick Feynman and Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga had put the finishing touches on what we call quantum electrodynamics, which is in principle Maxwell’s Equations written to include very high energies and very very small distances. It is not a pretty theory, but in fact it is the best predictor of events within its own realm of validity that we have. It reduces to 19th century classical physics when that’s appropriate as a description. Unfortunately, to make sense out of things, we mostly have to stop talking about waves and particles and just talk about the solutions to abstract equations. This is not very satisfactory to a lot of people, some of whom build great castles in the sky to show why quantum physics is wrong and that their brand of non-quantum physics is superior. Most of those folks make elementary errors early in their work, so it’s actually pretty useless.

    The most interesting experiments I know today are in a field called “entanglement” which basically says that under the right initial circumstances two particles can communicate “instantaneously.” But that would be a topic for a much longer essay that I’m not up to writing tonight.

    My back has been very bad the last few days, so I haven’t pulled a trigger in almost a week.

    BB, Edith, if this went too far off track or got too darn entangled, feel free to delete it.

    • Matt61 Says:

      PeteZ, yes, I saw this. Thanks for putting it together. I don’t know if I have much of a comment. This is a tour de force of physics history that covers my frame of understanding and deepens it in places. It is nice to think that physicists have not dropped the wonder at the true “nature of things.” I suspect that science like other fields of study is done at the highest level by all the faculties. I think there was a study where they scanned the brains of a novice and an expert musician while listening to music. The novice just had the music part of his brain lighted up while the expert was using everything, that is comprehending music as literature, math, science, art and everything else at the same time.

      Matt61

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Pete,
      I saw it last night and tried to comment on it, but my comment disappeared. Thanks for taking the time to write that up; I enjoy your perspective.

      • pete z Says:

        I wrote an air-soft comment about 10 minutes ago, and it just vanished into the ether. Annoying. Happens once in a while.

        But the comment wasn’t good enough to rewrite it.

        • Chuck Says:

          Pete Z,

          You wrote a lenghtly comment that started out as:

          “Matt61, BG_Farmer,

          Matt wrote: ****, the “nature of things” is indeed a misleading term.”

          Then you resent it again today around 2am blog time.

          Is this the comment you think is missing?

          -Chuck

    • pete z Says:

      Ooops: James WATSON

  • Victor Says:

    B.B.,

    One application for airsoft that I’ve considered is bug hunting. Pellets are too damaging, but these soft BB’s aren’t. If the accuracy is there, then this could be lots of fun.

    Victor

    • Vince Says:

      Victor – airsoft can make dents in walls, shatter flood lights, and I’ve seen one (medium power) break a beer bottle at about 20 feet. So don’t underestimate their ability to cause damage!

      • Bub Says:

        Be careful using airsoft indoors, they can make noticeable small dimples in soft wood furniture. Don’t ask.

      • Victor Says:

        I guess my lack of understanding comes from the fact that I’ve never felt an airsoft BB. In truth, I’ve never looked closely at one either. I kind of assumed that they were like mini-nerf-balls. I guess not.

        Victor

        • Chuck Says:

          Victor,
          My grandkids brought some over a while back. They are very hard plastic balls. If not plastic then some hard plastic like substance. The ones they had are red and I have a hard time seeing red for some reason so every day I find more of them in plain sight.
          -Chuck

    • Victor Says:

      So really, airsoft guns are best used for training, including teaching a child how to shoot.

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B. or maybe Brian…

    My R9 has very noticeable second stage creep. This is in contrast to my 97K which just seems to break without any feel of creep.

    I have thought about either just shooting it as is for a while, or adjusting out about half of the creep.
    Have not decided which way to go. Have read instructions that say that you need some creep to keep it safe (sear engagement).

    What do you think? Maybe I should just leave it alone and get used to it?

    twotalon

    • Vince Says:

      TT, two of the great things about a properly adjusted Rekord is that 1) it has a genuine 2 stage trigger – the first stage actually starts to move the sear release mechanism, it’s not just spring-loaded slop, and 2) it can fully reset itself if you pull through the first stage and then let go of the trigger. It won’t stay ‘almost fired’, if you know what I mean.

      This is what provides the margin of safety. Even if you have the trigger adjusted for no discernible 2nd stage creep that 1st stage gives you a safe amount of engagement. The WORST that’s going to happen is that the rifle will fire prematurely at the end of the 1st stage pull, and not wait for the 2nd stage. Since you’re ‘on target’ at that point anyway (or you darn well should be!) I don’t see how that would be unsafe.

      HOWEVER – adjustable triggers that are NOT really 2 stage – like the adjustable Gamo trigger – when you dial out the 2nd stage creep you ARE bringing it very close to the release point even without the trigger being pulled.

      BB, please correct me if I’m missing something…

      • twotalon Says:

        Vince..
        I understand what you mean by “almost fired”. My Titan is like that.

        What’s itching me is the difference in feel.The Rekord in the 97K goes through first stage takeup, abruptly hits the wall, then breaks cleanly.
        The R9 goes through first stage takeup, then goes softly into the wall, then creeps until firing.
        I can get used to it or I can fool with it, but have not decided which way to go.

        twotalon

      • Wulfraed Says:

        If one is talking the older metal Gamo trigger… I believe it qualifies as one of those “spring loaded” things. The first stage doing nothing, the second doing actual sear release movement.

        The GRT-III makes a noticeable difference — BUT there is still a caveat. Releasing in mid-pull does not reset the sear engagement; the instructions advise one to break the barrel fully to reseat the sear.

        {Though I need to get to the range some day and confirm settings; I just tested the install against a phone book in my apartment — after which I had to turn off all the window vibration sensor alarms}

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      twotalon,

      You need to adjust screw 51b.

      B.B.

      • twotalon Says:

        Thanks B.B.
        Will do later this morning.

        twotalon

        • Brian in Idaho Says:

          TT

          yup, what BB said, screw 51b. There should not be a very discernible “creep” in the second stage of a Rekord trigger and you are right, the 97K will spoil you for all others.

          • twotalon Says:

            I just cranked up the 51b screw and increased the trigger weight. Still some creep.
            Cranked 52b in 1/4 turn and still get some creep.

            Creep feels a bit dry. This trigger is oiled as opposed to the 97K trigger which is greased.

            Think I will let it rub through a couple tins of pellets, then clean it up and moly it.

            Looks promising so far. Have not put it on paper yet..just plinking in the snow. Snow is melted away now. Just a few piles showing. It’s warming up fast. I can see the dead starlings littering my back yard now.

            I can even keep the sunshade on the R9 scope (Leapers 3-9 AO) with room to spare. I like that. Could not use it on the Titan.

            twotalon

            • Brian in Idaho Says:

              TT

              Also take a look under magnification/light at the sear surfaces and the hardened pins in the trigger. There is a small chance that you may have a micro-burr or some contaminant in there. I have had 3 or 4 guns with the Rekord trigger and have not had any issues in the second stage. As Vince noted, these are true 2 stage triggers with the 1st stage doing the bulk of the work/leverage. The second stage should break almost imperceptibly with the feel of a thin, glass rod breaking.

  • J-F Says:

    AirSoft is what got me back into airguns a few years ago. I had my old hand me down Relum Telly, a Marksman 1010 that wasn’t shooting anymore and a Crosman 357 that wouldn’t hold air because I didn’t know then what I know now and I wasn’t lubing it with Pellgunoil.
    The firearm itch was getting bigger by the day (I was 16) and being in Canada handguns fall in the restricted category and are very hard to get. That’s when I found a Ruger Airsoft gun, it was magnificent, it looked like the real thing with the Ruger trademarks and all (I was told that this is what got them banned in the first place) and they didn’t have the orange muzzle at the time, I would have bought it even if it didn’t shoot anything because it looked so good so to say I was happy to shoot small plastic spheres at cardboard boxes, then I bought another and another, then they disappeared from the stores so I was able to find them on local adds then on ebay and the orange thing started to spread and Canada only got the clear stuff and that’s when I quit. I bought a Crosman (or was it Marksman?) Olympic looking gun, a friend showed me a Gamo he had brought back from Switzerland, I then bought a Hatsan and a Walther PPK/S and I’ve since spent way too much money on airguns.

    Speaking of buying too many airguns, there’s a nice Diana Mod. 24 on sale here, I’m thinking I should get it (as almost every other airgun for sale) for it’s German made quality and accuracy but I may be wrong, any advice?

    @ Duskwight thanks again for the IZH-38 link. I may give it a try (IF I’m able to fix the other ones first).

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      J-F,

      It is next to impossible to go wrong with a Diana 24. Just get it for a good price and make sure the barrel isn’t bent up. Do that by sighting along the outside of the barrel.

      B.B.

      • J-F Says:

        Thank you (my wife will want to have talk with you) :-)
        That’s what I was thinking but sometimes even good reputation company can miss and it was hard to find much advice and info on it since it doesn’t seem to be for sale in the US.

        The guy started at 175$ but is down to 150$ shipped right now but the BlueBook is saying 160$ for a 100% rifle which it ain’t so I’ll try to make him go down a bit more.

        Thanks again,

        JF

  • Volvo Says:

    B.B.
    Thanks for the recommendation on the Ruger Blackhawk in .357.
    Being a Ruger fan this may seem like a no brainer, but sometime the obvious choice get blurred by all the chatter on the net.

    I found a NOS .357 \ 9MM on GB like yours , but it went a little too high. I ended up getting a new manufacture model with the 6.5 barrel; it was $95.00 less than what the local gun store wants and just a few dollars over your estimate of used one.

    Should be here early next week, so anyway my question is:
    Do you know of any way to lessen the drag mark around the cylinder these get with use?

    Thanks again.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Volvo,

      Lessen the drag mark? As a matter of fact I do. When I was in college I made some good spending money working over the actions of most single action revolvers. The problem is, in guns like the Ruger, the cylinder bolt, which is the part that drops into the cutouts in the cylinder to stop it in place has already been shortened too much at the factory. They do that because it is easier than hand-fitting each bolt to each gun. Make them too short and they will work on any gun, but you will get the drag mark. What you need is a new, unsized bolt that you can hand-fit to your gun.

      B.B.

      • Volvo Says:

        I kind of figured it would take some gun smithing, but had hoped maybe it could be avoided by just eliminating a bad habit. With my Single Six I just went with the stainless version so the line would not show, but the Blackhawk is blued.

        Thanks again Tom.

    • Brian in Idaho Says:

      Volvo, you haven’t been around much how goes it?

      Re the “drag mark” on the cylinder wall… if you can remove the cylinder, actuate the trigger in DA to get a look at the pawl or device that engages the cylinder to rotate it. I’m guessing that is what you are referring too? You can polish the pawl to lessen the effect or perhaps, eliminate it but… there is a point of no return on metal removal as you might expect. Long or tall enough to firmly engage the cylinder detents but polished enough not to drag over the major diameter of the cylinder.

      Those marks come from a bit of drag of that pawl as the cylinder rotates and before the pawl completely returns to the relaxed or home position (this happens very quickly in DA mode) I have only seen a few custom shop guns and (my) S&W Model 27 revolver that did not create that drag mark over time. The model 27 was discontinued for years (until recently) as it was virtually hand built and polished throughout, including indexing the cylinder rotation to the pawl and polishing the pawl for clearance.

      • Volvo Says:

        Going okay just seems January is not my month since the last three have all brought bad news to say the least.

        Airgun wise, I have settled on a hand full that I will work for any situation, with just one last trade needed. I am going to list an R9 with all JM internals on the yellow soon, but if anyone wants it here that has my e-mail already, just let me know.

        Shoots well above factory spec and is in 98% condition. Work was done by a guy that has over 200 airguns, but is not a famous name tuner. Appears he did just fine. No sights, it’s the newer gold configuration so scope only.

  • kevin Says:

    What an eye opener.

    Had no idea of the depth and breadth of airsoft. Today was the first time I knew about and visited PA’s blog on airsoft. Very impressive looking airsoft guns at the SHOT Show.

    Seems that your first name must be Tom if you’re going to write blogs for PA.

    B.B.,

    Noticed that Tom Harris is trademarking his photo’s. Paul Watts started trademarking/watermarking his photo’s recently. Do you see a need to trademark your work?

    kevin

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Kevin,

      Well, the entire blog is copywrited, so every photo is protected that way. I guess we are semi-safe. And people will still steal photos.

      B.B.

      • Slinging Lead Says:

        BB

        I ‘stole’ the picture of the three stooges. I promise not to use it without the express written consent of Major League Baseball.

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          SL,

          You should have just bought one in the gift shop. They are available on T-shirts, coasters and plastic shopping bags, too.

          B.B.

  • Chuck Says:

    Edith,
    I went to the UTG Master Sniper link on PA and found this in its specs:

    Front Sight: None
    Rear Sight: None
    Scopeable: No

    How is this possible? How do you shoot the thing?

    (then I clicked on “Click to have a closer look” and saw that is can indeed be scoped)

    -Chuck

  • Brian in Idaho Says:

    BB re Airsoft Stuff

    Does Hop-Up matter and what is it? (spin of the projectile?)

    What do you use for targets with these guns, as I am guessing they don’t penetrate a typical target-card?

    And on behalf of everyone here… thanks so much for initiating ANOTHER GUN ADDICTION!! :-) ;-)

    • Bub Says:

      Hop up is obtained by use of a small piece of rubber that puts a back spin on the bb. The back spin increases the range of the bb. I’m not for sure but I think it might also flatten the trajectory of the round as well, maybe someone else will know for sure. I do know that on most higher end guns the hop up is adjustable to get the best balance between range and accuracy.

      • Brian in Idaho Says:

        Thanks Bub, and will the plastic bb’s penetrate a standard printer paper/printed targets at 10-15 meters?

        What type of accuracy to expect from the longer barrel, single shot rifles at about 10-15 meters?

  • Chuck Says:

    Green Gas? I looked up the accessories for the TSD M90 on PA’s site and saw twelve 8 oz cans for $109. I went gasp! (and a spare magazine is $25? BB wasn’t kidding that airsoft could get expensive) OK, you know what questions follow as this sounds like it could get to be a very expensive way to shoot airsoft vs CO2 or HP, so I’m thinking I’m missing some info.

    Using the M90 as an example, how many fills does one get from a can? How many shots does one get from a fill? Then I can determine the difference in cost of air-soft compared to CO2 compared to scuba tank. I know the answer will contain the words “it depends” but a ball park guess is better than nothing. Sounds like two orders of green gas would pay for a scuba tank and adapter.

    -Chuck

    • Vince Says:

      Chuck, the way to do it (outdoors, anyway) is with commerically bottled propane. Same basic stuff, only stinky. They make adapters to fit on the small throw-away cylinders.

      But even using the specialty stuff, I believe the cost is comparable to CO2 cartridges, perhaps less.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Chuck,

      From a 1 liter can of green gas you will get over 25 fills of the gun.

      B.B.

    • pcp4me Says:

      Chuck,

      That is a rip off on green gas. It is available MUCH cheaper than that. But best thing to do with “green gas” guns is get an adapter to put on camping propane bottles and put a drop or two of a special silicone oil they use on these guns in the adapter before filling.

      Don’t shoot this indoors, though. Stinks real bad!

      Better solution is get the ones which use CO2. Much better IMHO and cheaper too I believe!

      Personally I prefer the battery operated guns over all, but they require the batteries to be kept charged or they go dead in 6 months or less.

      Have owned 40 or 50 air soft guns in my life and these are my conclusions from practical experience. I avoid spring operated air soft as most are simply under powered junk. However you can buy one or two all metal spring operated guns which are ok and last a good while. Just don’t like them though!

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Chuck,

      Pyramyd Air is going to come up with a way to sell just 1-2 green gas canisters at a time. They hope to have that implemented within the next 4 months.

      There are also CO2-powered airsoft guns. For those, you can use the 12-gram CO2 cartridges you use in your pellet/BB guns.

      Edith

  • Chuck Says:

    Yes, Herbie-wan! To make and mold, yours I am.

  • Bub Says:

    I picked up a cheap $20+ pistol a few years ago. I didn’t expect much, but I’m now on my second 5000 round jar of .20 gr bb’s and it’s still going. Not the most accurate thing in the world, I would rate it at minute of pop can at 10 yards. Fun to shot at leaves, etc in the backyard.

    Since as B.B. pointed out you can see the airsoft bb’s in flight it also makes a good training gun for point and shot practice. I’ve also tried some drills were you aim by indexing the pistol off the body, something I wouldn’t have want to try with a real firearm.

    The one I have doesn’t have the feel (weight, trigger, etc) of a real gun, so I’ve been looking at some of the more realistic models.

    I’ve been reading Pyramyd’s new airsoft blog and some of the stuff is impressive. I would encourage anyone interested in airsoft to take a look at the new blog.

    My only problem with airsoft has been the ideal of folks using them to shot at each other in skirmishers. Pointing guns at people has always bothered me. However, I’m thinking about reconsidering my position with regard to airsoft guns.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Bub,

      I’m with you on the topic of shooting at people. However, for guys like us there is this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pE728I7370

      This guy is one of the best in the world and his guns are the ones I describe in the text. This will inspire you.

      The commands are being given in English, with a heavy accent.

      B.B.

      • Brian in Idaho Says:

        BB that kid is awesome! The Asian countries have really figured out a way to enjoy guns, even with all the restrictions/bans put upon them.

        It should also remind us that we are fortunate to have a RIGHT to shoot IPSC or whatever else with 9mm, 45 ACP or whatever we choose, not just Airsoft!

        For all: Keep that video in mind in November 2012 when “Barry O. & the Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants” are up for re-election!

      • Bub Says:

        B.B.,

        I just watched the video. Kinda looks like fun. The guy’s rig was impressive. It even looked like he was running an Aimpoint optic.

  • Chuck Says:

    I set up my Chrony today and thought I’d show you how those dual shop lights work. I bought mine at Harbor Freight a couple years ago for about $25.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cjrley/ChronySetup?authkey=Gv1sRgCOXJv6CN4pjI7AE#

    -Chuck

  • rock Says:

    Hello, have an air soft pistol its a Targus replica very accurate. Have another question… oiled pellets how does one do this? And what oil? Also do you need oil all crosman pellets and again all new to me even when read theses blogs I’m somewhat in the dark at times but always get good spotlights from all who answer so thanx again and again.

    William Dawson

    • Chuck Says:

      rock,
      From what I gather from this blog only Crosman Premiers need oiled. To do that I put a few drops of Pelgunoil on the sponge rubber bed that comes in the box with the pellets and roll them around for a bit until they are very lightly coated. You only need them to be a little shiny from the oil. Don’t get very much on them at all. I usually do no more than 50 pellets at a time. If you don’t have Pelgunoil use 20wt motor oil. Do not use any other oil unless someone else recommends it. Wacky Wayne, an avid reader and sometimes contributor to this blog, uses cocoa nut oil with success.
      -Chuck

    • kevin Says:

      William,

      The only pellets I lube are crosman premiers that will be shot in guns doing over 800 fps. The reason for this is that the crosman premiers are a hard pellet (contain antimony) and quickly foul the barrels of my guns. They don’t hurt the gun but require barrel cleaning more often. Lubing other pellets or even crosman premiers that will be shot in lesser velocity guns is a waste of time in my experience.

      There are many choices of lubes for pellets, i.e., pledge, coconut oil, whiscombe honey, fp-10 etc. etc. I use krytech. If you choose to lube your pellets (many shooters don’t) then whatever lube you choose USE IT SPARINGLY. Less is more in my experience of lubing pellets.

      Here’s a good read on how to lube pellets. Scroll down a little on the page and read “Applying Pellet Wax”:

      http://www.mac1airgun.com/maintenance.html

      kevin

      • Victor Says:

        Kevin,

        Ineresting that you use krytech. Apparently it includes moly. Here’s the description.

        “DuPont’s metal bonding Krytox® lubricating film in combination with M2 molybdenum, specialized waxes, and more, make our WAX Lube even slicker, quieter and longer lasting. Finish Line WAX Lube is wax lubrication technology at its best.. ”

        Victor

    • Brian in Idaho Says:

      Thanks for stopping by here William, we are glad to help whenever we can.

  • twotalon Says:

    For the junk food junkies…

    I mentioned the BK Stuffed Steakhouse burgers a week or so ago, and had mentioned that they were missing something….probably bacon.
    Well, that was EXACTLY what they were missing. Can’t think of another thing they needed.
    Just ate two for lunch, with some onion rings, and a beer of course.

    They will probably discontinue them before long. They used to have a “Spicy Tendercrisp” chicken sandwich for a while. They dropped that too. It was darned good too.

    twotalon

  • Matt61 Says:

    So, why does someone pay $3000 for an airsoft BAR? Because the real thing would cost $30,000. A perfectly reasonable answer to the question. :-)

    I came across an airsoft M-16 for military training the other day and it cost $1200, more than some firearms versions. But if gaming is what has driven the technology, I wonder how they solve one problem which seems to make it inferior to paintball shooting: How do you tell if someone is dead with all the bb’s flying around and protective gear on? This, apparently, is a problem at Civil War reenactments where everyone dresses up and blazes away and no one wants to fall down and end their fun. Some reports even have the dead taking pictures of the battle which ruins the effect….

    Matt61

  • Drew Says:

    I’ve been in and out of airsoft for about 5 years now, I dont see the attraction for anywone who wants to target shoot. I only see an attraction for those that want to skirmish like me(I’m 19). I have seen guns more accurate than most of my air rifles that would be suitable for target shooting out to almost 200 meters but these cost over a thousand dollars and require much aftermarket modification and tuning. it takes a rich genius to build a gun like that. So is airsoft even practical for target shooting in countries that allow airguns and fire arms? I’ve been tinkering with a vsr-10 rifle that i was able to trade one of my aegs for at local airsoft field and the accuracy is impressive at 50 yards (hits a chest sized target 8/10 times) but at 10 yards it can not hold a one inch group. this makes me wonder why there is an organization that would even think of trying to upgrade their guns to be as accurate as a fire arm.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Drew,

      Well, as we age our perspective often changes. Those of us who are over 50 on this blog have had it drummed into us that you never point a gun at someone you don’t intend to shoot. So skirmishing is hard for us to warm up to. Also, after you pass 40, you body will start protesting physical activity. It will be small at first, but with each passing year, it grows in intensity. So target shooting is something we old fogies can do without breaking into a sweat.

      I can remember when I was 19 and enjoyed running around and doing active things, though I would never point guns at people because of my training. But now that I’m over 60 I like my fun to come in slower doses.

      So the different sectors of airsoft come from different viewpoints like yours and mine.

      B.B.

      • Victor Says:

        B.B.,

        You make good points about safety, training, and a healthy gun culture. I too am not comfortable about pointing a gun at anyone. I am so crystal clear about my intentions and beliefs that I am finding that my own kids feel the same way as I do, which is a nice surprise. Because I do whatever I can to promote the sport of shooting, I feel a great responsibility to set concrete, possible, examples regarding gun safety.

        Victor

      • pcp4me Says:

        BB,

        You got dat right!

      • Drew Says:

        I have nothing against target shooting and I enjoy it with my 10/22 and various air rifles. My point was that airsoft guns are not practical for target shooting, it would be like trying to upgrade a Ferrari to be able to tow a 10,000 pound trailer. You would spend more in upgrades than you would buying a a vehicle built for towing. Having been very seriously injured before (car accident) I understand the seriousness of gun safety rules. One malfunction or mistake and someone’s life could be over. It only takes a split second, But however whenever I engage in any sort of airsoft activity I load my weapon and witness that I am loading bb’s not bullets.

        • Vince Says:

          Drew, I still don’t see the point you’re trying to make. Are you saying that ordinary airsoft just isn’t accurate enough? Then I guess the question is – what is meant by target shooting? The certainly DO have value for target PRACTICE, as anyone who is inherently a poor pistol shot can attest. 1″ at 5 yards (which airsoft can do) is very usable accuracy for someone trying to learn, say, how to shoot reasonably well in a self-defense situation.

          I’m a little surprised to hear that airsoft can be accurate out to 200 meters. I’ve monkeyed with airsoft myself, and seeing how fast airsoft projectiles shed velocity I really can’t see it. 200 meters with a rifled air gun shooting lead pellets would be a tough cookie.

          • Drew Says:

            200 meter airsoft guns do exist. some .25 caliber or big bore air rifles could hold a chest sized group at 200 meters, condor maybe? Also I’ve seen some pretty incredible shots at 100 yards with a .22 cal. benjamin trail. Most of the longer range airsoft guns are shooting 500+ fps with .43 or heavier bbs, these barrels are also very tight and there has been a big discussion about octagonal rifled barrels for airsoft lately, I’m not sure if anyone uses these yet though. And I admit I didn’t think about self defense training, thats a great idea! I was thinking more of 20-30 target shooting, and most sub $50 airsoft guns could not hold a 1-2″ group at 25 yards. Actually not many unmodified airsoft guns could shoot a 1-2″ group at 25 yards, maybe some of the $200-$300 stock guns could.

  • Matt61 Says:

    I tried the countersteering on my bike this morning. It works! I can’t believe it! I pushed the left handlebar and the bike turned left. When I tried to steer left by pushing the right handlebar to turn left, it felt ugly, and I stopped right away. So I was doing the right method without knowing it, a clear case of what the Russian commandos describe as “thinking with the body.” Someone explain the countersteering to me as it is beyond my comprehension. I didn’t follow the earlier explanation of patches and forces. Clinging to a semblance of order, I notice that the push of the handlebar on the side where you are turning is transitory. Fairly quickly, you will start pulling on the handlebar once into the turn. If you keep pushing, you will fall over. So the push is just to initiate the turn. Perhaps, the geometry of the front fork requires you to get the wheel out of the way and create a space for the bike to start falling so that you can then pull the handlebar and bring the wheel around for support. Getting back to the inertia idea, maybe the push upsets the inertia and causes the bike to fall to allow you to support it in a turn. Still, it is a puzzle to me.

    Matt61

    • Chuck Says:

      Matt,
      Here’s my opinion: The turn of the motorcycle is caused by a change in the angle of attack of the tire on the pavement. When you push on the left handle bar you cause the tire to change contact with the road to the left side of the tire where the angle of attack with the road decreases. The bike then “falls” toward the direction of the left sidewall. The bike doesn’t really fall it’s just that with my limited education I don’t know how else to describe it. The bike will not fall over if you keep pushing. The only thing that may happen is the rear tire, due to centrifugal force, will lose traction and slip out from under you. You shouldn’t even have to pull back on the left handle to stop the turn because when you let go the wheel will straighten out and bike will right its self.

      -Chuck

  • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

    I agree with Drew on the target shooting aspect. I’ve a friend who is a serious skirmisher. Last year he bought an AK clone (airsoft) that was a tad over $600. Can’t tell it from the real thing.
    At 30 yrds my $120 BAM AK easily groups in 1/3 the size of the airsoft.
    For $600 I can get the CZ5 Sa vz 58 which also looks like a real AK (it isn’t really, being a short stroke gas piston gun), and fires instead of a plastic bb a much heavier 7.62 round :-)
    So apart from skirmishing I don’t see much point.
    As I’ve mentioned before I feel that it anyone under the age of 14 or so shouldn’t be allowed an airsoft. Taking my own sons for example (now 8 & 10) I feel it would be counterproductive, and possible dangerous to be telling them “hey, you can never point your pellet guns at another person, but take your airsofts out and have at ‘er”. I’m not sure an 8 year old would get the difference.

    • Brian in Idaho Says:

      Yup, my wife works in corrections and she believes it is more often “8 years old through 40 years old” cause some folks at the institution never grow up and never get it!

      My interest in Airsoft would be the quality of the gun and the fun factor with paper and styro cups etc etc.

      I had to shoot at others during that lil so. east asian skirmish back in ’68 but, my training was never point any gun of any type at anything you did not intend to shoot, meaning lethally shoot or destroy.

      “Skirmishing” would not be my cup o tea and I sure wouldn’t let my kids (back a few years) do it. Too slippery a slope from “playing” to lethality. Tends to dull the sense of responsibility and restraint around guns in general.

  • rikib Says:

    B.B.
    Thanks for writing that very informative article, I greatly appreciate it. I am still curious though: Are Airsoft guns and guns that shoot steel BB’s considered in the same class, is the ammo interchangeable? Hope I’m not looking to stupid here :(

    rikib

    • pcp4me Says:

      Rikib,

      Don’t know about that, but I know they used to sell aluminum air soft “bb’s” you could use. Wow if you got hit with one of those it was wicked!

      Don’t know if they still sell the aluminum ammo or not.

      • Wulfraed Says:

        Strangely, I tried a search for some old toy guns (ca 1965-70) that used similar (or even larger) sized balls made of silver painted fired clay. Simple double-action only pistols — pulling the trigger pulled back a spring loaded plunger. Just before the end of the travel, a ball would fall down through a hole in the barrel. At the end of the travel, the trigger mechanism would be pulled down from the plunger which then snapped the ball forward. What would have been the ejection port of a real mouse-gun was a sliding cover into which one just poured a handful of balls.

        Similar time period had another DAO design but the ammo was plastic disks which loaded into a “coin holder” type magazine in front of the trigger. The “barrel” was a pair of slots in the frame side. The plunger was flat. Pulling the trigger pulled the plunger back over the magazine and just before release a disk would pop up into alignment. While the only spin would have been imparted by uneven contact with the guides, one could theoretically “curve” the shots by tilting the pistol to the side.

        Both were definitely kiddie toys, aimed at elementary school age. I wouldn’t be surprised to find a ball-point pen with a more powerful spring. Even so, they could be felt on impact and were sold with no eye protection. And the Mattel M-16 should have been sold with hearing protection — given that the drum-head used to make the “firing” sound was in the magazine.

        • J-F Says:

          I remember those disk ones… My uncles used to have a few of them when I was younger they were FUN but the small plastic disk would get lost easily and they stinged quite a bit but never as much as the dimes we used sometimes when we we’re out of plastic disk, the good point to this was you made 0,10$ each time you got hit, unless you prefered getting revenge on getting the dime LOL.
          Those I knew looked like sci-fi guns and we’re all bright colors and looked nothing even ressembling a real firearm of any kind.

          I don’t see where skirmishing or playing paintball can transfer to shooting people with a real guns in real life. I don’t think there is much difference than playing cowboys when your a kid, only it’s for grownups with deep pockets.

          J-F

    • Chuck Says:

      rikib,
      There appears to be at least different size airsoft ammo. BB mentioned a .12gr ball and a .24gr ball in this article. I’m pretty sure the ones I’m picking up off my floor are larger than a copper bb but can’t swear to it. I have some copper bbs so the next time I run across a airsoft ball on the follr I’ll compare them for you.
      -Chuck

      • twotalon Says:

        Steel bbs are about .172 cal while airsoft (yellow Crosmans I have ) are about .232 cal.

        twotalon

      • Wulfraed Says:

        There are different weights, but airsoft tends to all be 6mm diameter.

        .12gram (not grain) being the commonest junk balls sold with the $30 spring guns. The clear ones often have an air bubble offset inside of them (so much for what little accuracy a smoothbore ball has). If they had holes drilled through them they’d look like “pearls” from kiddie costume jewelry.

        The gas and electric guns apparently favor .20gram and .25gram balls. These are more of a not quite rubbery compound — compressed and heated plastic powder vs something blown into a mold.

        The .25gram is half the mass of a typical .177 lead pellet. .25gram => 3.858grain

        Then there are the biodegradable ones… I have a supply (still in sealed pouches) with a 4-10 day life span (less than a day if you drop it in a damp sink). I suspect these are the type with a reputation to swell up from moisture — and could bind in the barrels of better airsoft guns (especially if one has a tight hop-up unit).

        Cheap paint marker types with bad seams… Might be usable in a strong spring pistol without hop-up, but could break open on hop-up units. I think the preference now in marker types is more of a powder coating than a gelled pigment inside. Powder being easier to clean from a system than dried paint.

    • Brian in Idaho Says:

      Rikib

      Not sure what you mean by “same class”? AS guns come in spring power, gas and electric and some with combination gas and electric. There are many spring type AS guns that shoot the lightweight plastic balls at 400 fps! Even with the so-called heavy plastic balls (.25 g) the guns are no match for a 7.9 g lead pellet or a steel BB in accuracy and range and they are all smooth bore as far as I know.

      What I don’t know, is how would an Airsoft sniper know that he hit his target? Does the “enemy” raise his hand in the honor system?

      • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

        Brian, my local dealer carries a brand of airsoft ammo that is coated with a powder that leaves a mark on whatever is hit…just in case your ‘enemy’ doesn’t fess up to being hit.

      • B.B. Pelletier Says:

        rikib,

        Yes, airsofters have used the honor system for several years. They also have reliable paintballs, more or less. Mostly less.

        B.B.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      rikib,

      Airsoft BBs are never made of steel. They can be made of aluminum, but only the most powerful guns can shoot them. The metal BB was developed to skirt certain laws concerning airsoft in California. It was never meant to become a valid round of ammo.

      Airsoft guns are 6mm (.24 caliber) and 8mm (.32 caliber. BB guns are .17 caliber. Big difference.

      B.B.

  • Chuck Says:

    For those of you wondering: follr in English is floor.

  • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

    the airsoft ‘bb’ is twice the size of a steel b.b. The .12gr part of BB’s description refers to the weight. Like pellets, there are different weights of airsoft b.b.’s, but they are the same size.

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      CBSD,

      When you’re talking about pellets & steel BBs, you’re generally referring to the weight in grains. When you’re talking about airsoft BBs, the weight is in grams. On most websites, grain is abbreviated gr and gram is abbreviated g.

      Thought this needed clarification as we seem to to be referring to all weights in gr (grain).

      Edith

      • Chuck Says:

        Thanks Edith,

        …Guilty as Charged…

        -Chuck

      • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

        Damn, I’m always getting my grains and my grams mixed up ;-)
        Another difference between airsoft and conventional b.b. (or pellets). At any distance beyond about 10 feet, if there is any wind at all you can count on those big ‘ole plastic airsoft rounds blowing far off course.

  • G Henz Says:

    Does anyone know a good way to add sight to rifles like the remington nitro piston (scope only)
    A williams peep at the rear should not be an issue, but what about the front? Are there ways to add a front sight to it?
    It is my dream rifle except for that.

    • Brian in Idaho Says:

      G Heinz

      Is the barrel solid steel with .177 bore or .22? Is it a straight barrel or tapered?

      If so metal and straight, you can carefully drill and tap for the very small set screws used on aftermarket shotgun sights and ramps, and even the Truglo fiber optic types. The problems arise about height of the front sight as compared to your rear sight or peep sight. You don’t want a permanent front sight that is too high or too low, so you have to experiment. You will want a height that is middle of the road so that you can use your elevation at the rear.

      To really get this right, put on the rear sight you plan to use (I assume in the 3/8″ dovetail) and then, just use masking tape up at the front sight location and use putty or elmers glue to affix small items like screws, finishing nails etc to mock-up your front sight. Once you have a general idea of sight diameter or width and the right height, write it all down and go shopping at the sporting goods store with a precision scale (ruler) to find what works for you. Of course this all assume you will be able to firmly clamp the gun in a vise or some restraint and also be able to find true center-line of your barrel and make a small scribe line for drill & tap ( a small level and a small square will get you the center-line if your level is based on the peep sight flat & horizontal surface)

      Another alternative is Numrich Arms on the web, they have 100′s if not more sights of all types from antique to new. Maybe they have a barrel band or globe type sight to fit your barrel diameter.

    • Victor Says:

      G Henz,

      If you can do what Brian in Idaho suggested, namely, drill and tap the front so that you could install a dovetail mount, then one front aperture sight that is very adjustable vertically, is the AirForce open target front aperture sight.

      http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/AirForce_Front_Target_Sight_Fits_Most_10_Meter_3_Position_Rifles/2238

      BTW, I’ve asked for the same thing. In my case, I’d love to have target aperture sights on some of my rifles.

      Victor

  • rikib Says:

    THANKS TO ALL that have responded to my AS questions, I have learned a lot. Now I just need to look at which pistol to get as as my initiation. The “Tanfoglio Witness” that B.B. mentioned looks decent, but I’ll look around a little more. Once again, THANKS EVERYONE!

    rikib :)

    • Chuck Says:

      rikib,
      Make sure you read all the Tanfoglio Witness comments on the PA Gun Mall site then take them all with a grain of that salt before you make your decision.
      -Chuck

      • Chuck Says:

        And when you set up your airsoft targets make sure there is something to catch all the balls or you’ll end up with them all over the place and stepping on them in the middle of the night.
        -Chuck

      • rikib Says:

        Chuck,
        I’m not seeing any major negatives that would outweigh the positives of the Tanfoglio Witness on PA or Amazon is there something I am missing. Is there an AS pistol you would recommend for an entry into ASoft? I’m open to suggestions.

        rikib

        • Chuck Says:

          I don’t have any other recommendations. I’m not into airsoft myself at this time, still trying to manage target shooting and these don’t sound like target shooters. But I was merely referring to the second review which is really only one bad review out of the five. Like I say, take the bad one with a grain of salt but then you’d have to take the good ones with a grain of salt, also, to be fair. Two of the reviews sound like skirmishers and the first review was by someone who, after school, lost track of the gun and left it out in the snow all winter. So, you have to take that one with a flake of snow.

          When you get one (you been bit – you know you will), I’d be interested to know how you have fun with it. The bio-degradable balls that wulfraed mentioned sound interesting. I wonder if birds eat those balls. Could be doing nature a favor.
          -Chuck

          • Alan in MI Says:

            Chuck,

            My kids use the Air Venturi CQBBs in the ir airsoft guns. They are biodegradable, but take a long time (several months) to decompose. They are consistent, don’t jam the guns, and when they use them on their gel targets, resuable many times, at least with the lower fps guns.

            I’ve tried the quick degrading kind, and many end up in the trash as they don’t get used quickly enough, and they are a pain to deal with in the small packs. They are nice in that they disappear quickly, but I am content in knowing that the CQBBs will degrade eventually. Basically, I never have more than about six months worth laying around inthe grass, and they do work their way down to the point where they are hard to see.

            Alan in MI

  • rikib Says:

    Anyone got any thought on this AS package deal from PA, there are no reviews listed:

    Crosman Urban Mission Pack
    M74 AEG mini machine gun & Stinger P36 spring pistol

    M74 AEG mini machine gun specs:
    Full-auto
    175 fps
    Hopper holds up to 250 rds (scope is really the hopper)
    Black & clear body w/aluminum barrel

    P36 spring pistol specs:
    Repeater
    200 fps
    14-rd clip
    Clear frame, black grips, aluminum barrel

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    rikib :)

    • Slinging Lead Says:

      Rikib

      I do not have any airsoft guns, but after reading this blog my curiosity was piqued so I went on PA’s sight to browse. The one that caught my eye was the Crosman Pulse R76. It has a foldable stock, 350 round mag, semi or full automatic, shoots 375 fps and has 40 5-star ratings on the PA page. Looks pretty cool.

        • kevin Says:

          Slinging Lead,

          I bought two of these Crosman Pulse R76 airsoft guns for my daughter and friends several years ago. Dr. G was a frequent poster back then and had bought and used many airsoft guns for his kids. It was on his recommendation that I bought these. They have worked well and are a lotta fun.

          The folding stock is a plus since smaller kids can fold it out of the way and still shoot. The sling is a big plus since younger kids find the gun heavy to hold after awhile. They’re easy to load and the battery lasts about an hour shooting in fully automatic mode. You need to pay close attention to the length of time you re-charge the battery since overcharging can ruin these expensive batteries (I know this first hand LOL!). The magazines need wound regularly but kids get the hang of that quickly. With good quality ammo and the hop up adjusted properly these are surprisingly accurate out to 20 yards. At 15 yards the kids can cut heavy stock targets into shreds.

          Don’t forget safety glasses. PA has some great shooting glasses priced very reasonable for kids.

          kevin

          • Chuck Says:

            Kevin,
            I’d like to ammend the last sentence of your airsoft comment to say. “Don’t forget your shooting GOGGLES!” According to the video J-F sent, glasses just don’t cut it in airsoft, they MUST be goggles.
            -Chuck

            • kevin Says:

              Chuck,

              I understand your comment about using goggles as suggested in the video for air soft skirmishes.

              Since I don’t allow, nor will I ever allow, my daughter or anyone else to shoot at one another but only shoot targets, safety glasses or shooting glasses are sufficient for the potential ricochets.

              kevin

              • Chuck Says:

                Kevin,
                I thought that might be your set up but thought the reminder was still warranted given those little bugger balls can really ricochet. I agree skirmishers are exposed more to plastic balls coming from the side and from behind which makes goggles a must.

                -Chuck

    • Alan in MI Says:

      Rikib,

      My boys have both of these and love them. Neither shoots anywhere near as fast as advertised. The pistol is more powerful and more accurate, and they shoot ehm quite a bit. The M74 is less accurate, but is big on making grins – the automatic mode is plenty of fun! The gun itself has very poor sights (notches on top of the fake scope ammo resevoir), but it works best just pulling the trigger and walking it onto target.

      They don’t have the R76, but I have a nephew that does, and while he likes it, he recommends against it for any kind of skirmish stuff as it is pretty strong and leaves welts on people that get hit with it (he skirmishes a lot, my boys only rarely).

      My boys also have the Remington Wingmaster, and that is their favorite. Pump action, strongest fo the three, and quite accurate for what it is – a $30 gun.

      Hope that helps.

      Alan in MI

  • rock Says:

    alrighty then looks like i need take cooking class to make me sum honey as i cant seem to find the right bees… will do the oiling and thanx bunches once more.

    i plink with my air soft knocking cans around or army men they are great players and always ready to stand back up and take sum more punishment unless they shatter.

    thanx everyone
    william dawson

  • Slinging Lead Says:

    For those looking to get into airsoft, don’t forget this must have accessory:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U42d2xSn1Zk&feature=related

    • Chuck Says:

      Ah, a well placed airsoft bazooka could take that out. I liked the way the cannon was able to stay on target, like our modern ones, as the tank drove around over rough terrain. :-)

      -Chuck

  • kevin Says:

    Would appreciate some advice.

    I’d like to buy a .22 rimfire rifle for target shooting out to 75 yards.

    It must be accurate and vintage quality is a plus for me. It needs to be multi-shot but I don’t care if it’s bolt, semi or pump. Don’t want the heavy weight that comes with a true match rifle.

    I’m strongly considering a stevens 414 so you have an idea of what appeals to me.

    What’s your favorite .22 rimfire rifle that fits this criteria?

    kevin

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Kevin,

      I just traded Mac out of a beautiful Stevens 414 Armory. But I don’t have it yet. He’ll bring it here in April.

      My pick for you is a Remington 521T in good condition. It’s a wonderful rifle. It’s much slimmer and lighter than your 513T, but not any less accurate.

      B.B.

    • Victor Says:

      Kevin,

      Have you looked at the Savage Mark II series of rifles. When you say target shooting, do you mean with peep (aperture) target sights? I’m not sure what you mean by “vintage quality”, i.e., does that imply used? In any case, the Savage Mark II FVT is a target version that is bolt action, with a 5 round clip, and weights 6 lbs. However, there are non-target models that are also suppose to be extremely accurate, and yet lighter. I read a review of the target model in which the review was easily getting .3″ groups at 50 yards. On the low end, some models have a suggested retail cost of around $240 (G series), which weigh 5 lbs. That most likely means that you can find a street price of maybe around $150. Look at the Mark II Series here, http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/allfirearms.

      Hope this helps,
      Victor

      • kevin Says:

        Victor,

        No, I haven’t looked at the savage mk II series but I will. Thanks.

        By vintage quality I do mean used and prefer traditional wood and blueing. Peep sites are find but would also like the option of mounting a scope without having to drill and tap. Should have mentioned that earlier.

        .3″ of accuracy at 50 yards would be fine for this next gun. Thanks for the info.

        kevin

    • Mike Says:

      Here are a few suggestions. The Remington 511, 512, 513 bolt actions, Winchester 63 Auto, Marlin 39A (Lever).
      Anschutz sporters such as the model 54 or 164.

      Mike

      • kevin Says:

        Mike,

        Thank you.

        Of your suggestions which have you found to be most accurate?

        kevin

        • Robert from Arcade Says:

          Kevin: How about a Browning T-Bolt? get an early one 65-68( watch out for salt wood stocks). I bought the standard one last year used and it is as fast to shoot as the MARLIN 39 , and as accurate as the Remington. I have the others mentioned including the Savage ,so I can offer what I think is an accurate opinion.Good luck ,Robert.

          • kevin Says:

            Robert,

            Funny you should mention the browning T Bolt. Saw a nice one yesterday at the gun show. Guy wouldn’t budge off his $800.00 price. I think the browning stocks started to be salt cured in 1969?

            kevin

            • Robert from Arcade Says:

              Kevin: I’d have to look it up, but 69-72 sounds about right on the saltwood. It was a huge disaster for Browning. A way to tell is to try to remove one of the screws in the butt plate of the stock. Saltwood stocks will usually not release the screw , and if it does the rust will be obvious. I paid around $300 and change for mine. It was about 80%, a 1965 plain walnut stocked model made in Belgium , with no peep sight. It had the plastic front sight (only plastic on the gun ,was the sights), receiver is grooved. It is very fast to work the bolt, and it absolutely stacks Winchester Wildcat promo ammo at 50 yards. I just have an old Weaver 4X RF ,small tube scope on it right now, Robert.

              • kevin Says:

                Robert,

                Thanks again. Been doing some research on the t bolt. The deluxe version is a knock out for looks and the peep sight package that was an option on these guns is first rate.

                kevin

        • Chuck Says:

          I have a Savage MK II FVT with the laminated stock (definitly not what Kevin is looking for). I just started shooting it so I am still looking for a good cartridge for it. Anyone have suggestion?

          I’ve mentioned this before on this blog, the only complaint I have is that the hammer is cocked when the bolt is raised not when it’s pulled back to extract the spent cartridge. This takes some effort since this is not the most leveraged point in the action and not a time when the larger muscles are employed. To me, it makes cocking the bolt unpleasant. It does have a really nice trigger, though. I’ll be taking it to the range Tuesday. Maybe with a lot more use the bolt will lighten up.
          -Chuck

          • Chuck Says:

            Correction, I don’t have the Savage Mark II FVT I have the Mark II BV.

            • BG_Farmer Says:

              Order some Wolf MT — please note that I need to take my own advice :). If your Walmart carries Remington SSHP’s, they also seem to shoot well in mine in a pinch.

              • Chuck Says:

                BGF, Thanks, I’ll try those two. Does anyone have a favorite cartridge for a Ruger Mark III Target pistol? I have to shoot round nose indoors because hollow points tear up the targets too much but I think anything goes out doors.
                -Chuck

        • Mike Says:

          The Anschutz sporters would normally be the most accurate. However, I have a old Remington 512 that will really shoot well.

          Mike

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Kevin,
      I like the Savage Mk. II BV I bought a year or so ago, but it isn’t vintage looking, so perhaps a Mk. II G, although it won’t be fancy enough for you, I fear; aftermarket stocks might be an option. The Marlin 39 is also a classic. The CZ American models are nice, as well. There is a Mossberg army trainer (used) that shoots well, but I can remember the model number offhand. The Browning T-bolts are nice, but I haven’t had the pleasure of shooting one, although with Robert’s recommendation, I will make the effort. The best .22 I ever shot was a single-shot Iver Johnson that belonged to my grandfather — it was like doing surgery at a distance, but that would be a hit-or-miss proposition; they were not top-flight to begin with and most of the ones available are worn out to boot.

      • kevin Says:

        BG _ Farmer,

        Thanks for the insight. Fancy isn’t important. I just can’t warm up to synthetic stocks or laminate though.

        kevin

      • Robert from Arcade Says:

        BG: If you get the chance , do try one, they are slick and something different. You can work the bolt with your thumb. My 39 is a pre-micro groove and wears a Williams reciever sight. It is more accurate than my 9422 .22 mag, but not as slick. I also agree on the Mossbergs. I also have a tubular mag bolt action 46 and a 451 auto loader, and both are tack drivers also ,but the plain stock and the fragile plastic finger groove trigger guard turns off a lot of folks. The Mossberg autos will have creepy triggers also, but really not any worse than a stock 10-22 from Wally world. Mossberg tried to cram a lot of value into it’s guns. They still go for cheap around here. Passed up a pristine 451 at a flea market just last fall. It was going for $150, and there was about $20 of dicker room on that one. The old Savage 23 series from the 1930′s were good also , but drill and tap are the only options for scopes. Barrel and receivers were bored in one piece ,and were accurate as hell, Robert.

        • Robert from Arcade Says:

          Typo: The Mossberg autoloading .22 that I have is the 151M ,not 451. Just got in from work and noticed that mistake.

          • BG_Farmer Says:

            Robert,
            The Mossberg I had in mind was the M44 (that number is always hard to remember for some reason). Some of the other old Mossbergs shoot very well also, as you point out, and they aren’t outrageously priced.

  • twotalon Says:

    Brian in Idaho………

    Not more than a dozen shots after I mentioned the odd trigger problem with my R9 the problem vanished all by itself. Feels great now.

    twotalon

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    Checking my new R9 and think I have some pretty good numbers, but would like a second opinion.

    Less than a half tin of pellets through it so far. Pellets not sorted in any manner. Chrono numbers were rounded up/down if they were fractional. 10 shots/string.

    Match Rifle
    av mv 893, es 13, sd 4.

    exact 8.4
    av mv 864, es 9, sd 3.

    cpl
    mv av 904, es 14, sd 4.
    Would have looked better, but shot #7 was noticeably faster than average. Would have been es of 6 without it.

    FTT
    mv av 862, es 7, sd 2.

    Does it look OK ?

    twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      twotalon,

      It sounds right on to me. The R9 was always a 900 f.p.s. rifle, despite what the advertising says. Yes, you can get over 1,000 f.p.s., but you won’t like it.

      Remember, the R9 generates 7/8 the power of an R1 with 2.5 fewer pounds of gun. That’s quite an accomplishment.

      B.B.

      • twotalon Says:

        B.B.
        I also find that it does not feel like it kicks nearly as hard as my 97K in spite of being much lighter.
        Both rifles are shooting at about the same mv.

        twotalon

  • Fred PRoNJ Says:

    Matt61,

    welcome to the wonderful world of counter-steering.

    Before I go any further, to the rest of the blog – if you are not interested in discussing how a bicycle or motorcycle steers, PLEASE SKIP THE NEXT 2 PARAGRAPHS.

    All who ride a single tracked vehicle be it bicycle or motorcycle, steer this way. We just do it subconsciously. I practice or consciously countersteer to initiate turns on my motorcycles all the time. It’s to ingrain my muscle memory as in times of crisis, this is the ONLY way to initiate a hard avoidance maneuver. Here’s another process to convince yourself of this – initiate a hard turn – say a 90 degree turn – with countersteering – left or right – doesn’t matter. Then try the same thing with hands off the bars and by body lean/english/pedal pressure. There are two theories of getting the bike to lean – the first as proposed by Tony Foale, is the steering of the front wheel contact patch from under the bike’s gravitational center – where balance is maintained. The bike begins to fall until you (a) re-straighten the wheel to stop the fall/lean and (b) centripetal force matches gravitational attraction to hold the bike in the angle selected around the turn – actually part of a circle. The actual steering comes from the tire profile – much like a styrofoam cup that rolls on the floor. The second theory and the one I like is gyroscopic precession. Rather than explain it to you, do this. Remove your front wheel from your mountain bike. Holding it by the axle in both hands – either side of the wheel, spin the wheel. Then push on the right section of the axle or quick release nuts while holding the left hand steady. What does the wheel do? You push right, the wheel turns left but then flops over to the right. K, enough boring the blog.

    Pete Z. – what Mr. Jones discovered was more about stability than what I am still curious about – how a bike leans and thus turns. Rake, trail is well known in the motorcycle world – longer trail – more stable, less trail, quicker handling until you exceed a certain dimension and instability sets in. I still don’t know if the main force in initiating a turn is gyroscopic precession or gravitational acceleration. Oh, well.

    FINALLY, I participated in my first bench rest competition yesterday at the Charlotte Rifle and Pistol Club outside of Waxhaw, NC. My buddy, Yamaha Joe, fixed me up with a nice old, .22 scoped Remington 513. We shot 30 rounds at 6 targets at 50 yards. I think 6 of my rounds didn’t make the 10 ring. Nothing to it, right? It was a bit windy. We then set up two targets at 100 yards and the typhoon struck. I’ve never shot in winds like this. It was lifting my round a good 3″ from my poa, then would push it 1″ over. Then the next shot was right at the POA. Of course, I was trying to correct for the first shot. Well, I didn’t do the Blog proud this weekend, finishing next to last. Only saving grace was that Joe’s wife beat Joe! Oh, she had the Anschulz but I doubt that it made much of a difference.

    Fred PRoNJ

    • Caveman Says:

      Fred PRoNJ,
      I hope you had fun and enjoyed the experience. Just getting out in the game is enough to be proud of.
      caveman

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Fred,
      That’s the kind of wind we have almost all the time where I shoot :). Doesn’t take much wind to make a .22 go awry at 100 yards, and you don’t know how variable it really is until you start correcting for it.
      Glad to hear you got your feet wet.

    • Chuck Says:

      Fred, You could be right – it could be either or both. I don’t know enough to argue intelligently about that but I have a hard time believing gyroscopic precession alone is enough to overcome the forward kinetic energy and tire friction of an 800 lb. bike on dry pavement in a strong cross wind whereas friction and the “falling” theory alone would. Put it this way: ride your bike on glare ice, turn the wheel to the left and then tell me how far gyroscopic precession turns the bike. :-)
      -Chuck

  • A Says:

    BB,

    Do all airsoft guns sold in the USA comes with color band around the muzzle?
    Is it legal to purchase and own Airsoft guns without any color band or transparent parts?

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      A,

      Yes, airsoft guns sold in the U.S. must have at least 1/4″ of blaze orange on the end of the muzzle. Transparent parts are not required, which is why the muzzle is orange.

      If your airsoft gun does not have orange, you stand the chance of running into legal issues if your gun is in public view at a non-skirmishing event where it might be perceived as a firearm.

      You might also want to visit Pyramyd Air’s airsoft blog. It’s written by Tom Harris, and he’s very knowledgable and helpful: http://airsoft-guns-blog.pyramydair.com/

      Edith

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